A Special State Level Bankers Committee Meeting for taking stock of the devastation caused by floods in J&K State, specially in Kashmir Valley and devising suitable measures in effected areas for relief, rehabilitation, revival and restructuring of various types of credit facilities in the affected areas was convened by Jammu and Kashmir Bank (Convener J&K SLBC) at J&K Bank, Zonal Office, Jammu on 23.09.2014.
Mushtaq Ahmad, Chairman J&K Bank chaired the meeting. Notable among the participants were Shantamanu, I.A.S, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, K.K.Saraf, Regional Director Reserve Bank of India, S.A. Pandey, Chief General Manager, NABARD, A.K. Dogra, Deputy Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Government of India, Visheweshar, Advisor, Indian Banks Association, Showkat Aijaz, Director Finance, J&K Government, Parvez Ahmad & Abdul Hamid Banday, Executive Presidents of J&K Bank as also other senior officers from J&K Bank. Other participants included Mahapatra, Chief General Manager, SBI and Dr Rakesh Gupta General Manager PNB and senior representatives of RBI, NABARD & Commercial banks operating in the State.
Mushtaq Ahmad, Chairman & CEO, J&K Bank, initiated the proceedings and discussion. He briefed the participants about the scale of the unprecedented devastation caused in the affected areas and highlighted the purpose and rationale of the special SLBC meeting. He disclosed that devastation in Kashmir Valley was of serious nature and since the business of the J&K State is interdependent , the commercial losses in Kashmir will have an adverse impact on business in Jammu. As such, the borrowers of all the banks, banking with different banks in the state need immediate relief & rehabilitation to re start their economic venture/business at the earliest. He urged the participants of different banks to discuss the agenda in detail and reach a consensus, so that immediate relief from the perspective of banking is provided to effected people. He also informed the house that a meeting with Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India and IBA was held on 22.09.2014 and it has been assured that all required help and support will be provided to the affected people through banking channels and applicable relief measures. He cautioned that the conditions prevailing in the State of J&K are a major challenge for the banking fraternity and expressed optimism that despite hardships of damage to the banking premises, ATMs, loss of connectivity and other associated issues, the banking fraternity will rise to the occasion and ensure normalcy of operations at the earliest. Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad appreciated the role and enthusiasm demonstrated by every member of banking fraternity in ensuring fast restoration of banking facilities and mitigating the sufferings of the people at large by re establishing banking operations. He informed the house that in the state of J&K more than Rs.33000.00 Crores have been advanced by different banks to various sectors of economy. He expressed optimism that the forum will take stock of the seriousness and gravity of the situation and ensure that no effort is spared for mitigating the sufferings of the people. He then requested representatives of RBI, Central/ State Govt. to express their views.
Shantamanu, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, representing Govt. of J&K, informed the house that the survey for assessing the damage is underway. The state administration is taking every possible step in rescue and relief operations. He urged the banking fraternity to deliberate and discuss the relief measures for their speedy implementation.
Mr. A K Dogra, Ministry of Finance, GoI, emphasized on the banks to expeditiously put in place a suitable mechanism for the rehabilitation/economic revival of the people.
Mr. Showkat Aijaz, Director Finance, J&K State Govt. informed the house that barring Districts of Leh and Kargil, State Government has decided to declare calamity in all remaining 20 Districts of the State.
K.K. Saraf, Regional Director, RBI stressed on restoration of full banking services in the valley. It was disclosed by him that sufficient cash was being made available to currency chests functioning in the valley.
In the meeting, it was unanimously resolved to implement the formulated relief measures including restructuring of loans and advances by sanction of additional credit facilities at concessional rate of interest, conversion of part of existing working capital facilities into Working Capital Term Loan, extension of repayment period with moratorium and funding of interest on existing credit facilities. All these relief measures would be implemented in a mission mode.
It was further decided to constitute a sub- committee of SLBC for monitoring implementation of relief measures by banks and suggesting resolution of issues that may arise from time to time. It was also resolved to forward the recommendations of SLBC to RBI, IBA, Department of Financial Services, Government of India and State Government for required approvals.